EDC Events

The EDC organise several community events each year:

Table of Upcoming Events

You can subscribe to our email notification service in order to receive information about all of our forthcoming events.

Our Annual Early Dance Festival

We host a community-focused dance history festival each year; enthusiasts and professionals from across our community perform for each other’s pleasure. A list of our previous festivals can be found here.

The 40th Early Dance Circle Festival

20 – 22 October 2023

The 40th EDC Festival will take place in the lovely Assembly Hall at the Herefordshire Town Hall on 20 – 22 October. The Booking leaflet is available here.

We plan a celebratory programme of Festival dancing on Saturday afternoon, followed by dinner and a Masquerade Ball. On Friday evening, Barbara Segal will set the mood for this entertainment with a talk about Henrys and Harlequins: Masquerade Balls in 18th Century England, after a light buffet and welcoming wine reception. On Sunday, a choice of two visits will be on offer.

This will be a very special event and we look forward to welcoming a large crowd of dancers to celebrate together.

The venue is spacious and attractive, with excellent access and parking. Full details of the Festival are included in the Booking leaflet.

Our Annual Lecture

We host a popular dance history lecture each year. An archive of information on our previous lectures can be found here. What follows are details of our latest Lecture.

EDC Annual Lecture 2024

2024 marks 40 years since the birth of the EDC.  To celebrate the occasion, the Annual Lecture at the Swedenborg Hall will be extended to include a dance workshop, the lecture itself, a light supper and informal dancing afterwards. We hope that as many of you as possible will come along and help us to celebrate. More information will follow soon, but we are pleased to introduce the speaker and the topic of the Lecture.

Dance, Stillness and the Early Modern Image  
Speaker: Dr Lynsey McCulloch (Royal Shakespeare Company)

2 March 2023 Swedenborg House, London

A Lady Masquer by Inigo Jones

This lecture will consider the icon nature of the dance image. Looking at the English court masque of the early seventeenth century, it will examine stillness within dance – not as a precursor to motion – but as a state in its own right. Dr McCulloch’s talk will point to the ways in which early concert dance employed stillness, but she will also consider the representation of dance as a static image within art and the graphic systems of the early modern period. Finally, the lecture will look closely at the relationship between movement and stillness, which may have repercussions for our understanding of status and agency in this period.
The interplay between dance and the visual arts typically reinforces the iconic nature of both forms. Inigo Jones’s costume designs for the English masque harness both classical iconography and a more contemporary visual politics in a powerful dance image; the choreography of court entertainment — characterised by pose and pattern — provided another.
This iconic nature often supports a socio-cultural status quo, but it can, in some cases, be repurposed in the interest of more progressive politics. 


Dr McCulloch is a Research Fellow in the Department of Learning and National Partnerships at the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has taught at Coventry University and was also Journal and Conferences Coordinator at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, at the University of Warwick. She has had a distinguished career. Her new book, Dance and the Static Image, has just come out. In the recent past, with Brandon Shaw, she co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare & Dance, and with Brown and Lublin, she co-edited Reinventing the Renaissance: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries in Adaptation and Performance. In addition, she has many, many shorter pieces to her credit.

Our Biennial Conference

The EDC hosts a major dance history conference every two years. Proceedings are published and an archive of information on our previous conferences can be found here.


10 – 12 May 2024 

The Call for papers is HERE. Check the website for updates. The  Conference will bring together international specialists on historical dance topics spanning six centuries of dance history in the delightful surroundings of St Katharine’s Retreat House. 

The proceedings of the EDC Conference 2018 “PERCEPTION AND RECEPTION OF EARLY DANCE”, which was held 18 – 20 May 2018 at St Katharine’s, Parmoor are now available to order. Please see more details HERE.


Special Events:

We host and collaborate on other events from time to time. These can include workshops, study days, and additional lectures as the opportunities arise. Many such projects are undertaken in collaboration with other organisations. Do get in touch with us if you have a joint project in mind. An archive of information on our previous special events can be found here. What follows are details of our next Special Event.


The remarkably talented Mr Weaver presents…

7:30 pm 21 January 2023

The Marylebone Theatre, London

An evening of the 18th-century dance & music with The Weaver Ensemble

The Weaver Ensemble, led by Evelyn Nallen, offers an evening of music, song, and dance from the London stage of the 1700s, focused on the works of the celebrated English dancer, choreographer, and scholar, John Weaver, 1673-1760. The Weaver Ensemble will present two productions “The Loves of Mars & Venus” and “The Loves of Pygmalion”. They are not reconstructions, but celebrate Weaver’s contribution to the history of dance. They are devisCall for Papersed by Evelyn Nallen and Stephen Wyatt, and scripted by Stephen Wyatt, with a performing team of an actor, two dancers, and four on-stage musicians. Productions use original 18th – century choreographies. This is not the work of John Weaver, but offers a glimpse into the pleasure early dance can offer modern audiences. Artur Zakirov joins the Weaver Ensemble in the new year, taking over leading roles in Pygmalion and The Loves of Mars and Venus

Venue: Marylebone Theatre, 35 Park Road, London, NW1 6XT (6 mins walk from Baker Street Tube Station)

Tickets: £15 (excl booking fee) book at Eventbrite

The 2020 Celebration of the Music & Dance of Ignatius Sancho

Monday December 14

The premiere of the programme was on the EDC Facebook page and YouTube channel, it remains available to watch now. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOnjOprUWs0.

The Early Dance Circle has prepared a special programme of dance and music composed by Ignatius Sancho (c. 1729 – 14.12.1780) on 14 December 2020.

Sancho is famous nowadays as a man of letters and the first African to vote in a British election. Now you can enjoy reconstructions of Sancho’s choreographies and music by the Hampshire Regency Dancers, Quadrille Club and Green Ginger, as well as discussions and interviews with some knowledgeable experts on his career:

Meryl Thomson (Green Ginger), who recently recorded the CD “Dances for a Princess”. Paul Cooper, a specialist in Regency dance, who has worked a good deal on Sancho. Sally Petchey, author of a recent book about the life and dances of Ignatius Sancho: Dances for a Princess, humbly dedicated (with permission) to the Princess Royal by Her Royal Highnesses Most Obedient Servant Ignatius Sancho.